Friday, December 19, 2014

Join the Luvs Loyalty Program

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Luvs® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

We found out we were having our second soon after getting our little lady out of diapers.  That meant a short few months without having to buy diapers or change them.  Now it's just a way of life and I can't help but hear that Luvs slogan in my head... You live, you learn, and then you get Luvs®.  These commercials cracks me up.


I don't know if it is because he is a boy or because he just eats more than she did, but our little guy seems to go through diapers way faster.  That is why I love the Luvs® Super Absorbent diaper that features NightLock.  They can handle the little guy and now that he is sleeping through longer stretches it tackles those leaky problems.  We have had some leaks which makes for a stinky nights.  Diaper leaks... one of my biggest pet peeves.

Along with the Super Absorbent diapers Luvs® has also introduced their loyalty program!

With Luvs® new loyalty program, members will receive the latest Luvs offers, baby related news, videos, tips and my favorite SAVINGS!  With two kids under the roof, I love saving.

Signing up is easy and takes only a minute.

Be sure to sign up now!  Luvs® is giving away a $5 Walmart e-gift card to the first 2,000 registered members and a chance to win the grand prize of free diapers for a year!  Imagine... FREE diapers for a year!  That would be awesome.  The drawing will be held in April 2015 so head over now and sign up.

Luvs® loyalty club is a membership you and your little one will love.  Keep those bums dry and happy with Luvs®.  #LuvsClub
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Holidays with Happy Family

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Happy Family Products for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's no surprise that the holidays are a busy busy time for our family.  I'm known to be a little Christmas crazy packing in as much as possible into our already busy schedules.  Little man has been experiencing the madness and thanks to Happy Family, we can be on the go with a happily fed and full baby.

                                             Hf_logo_hires_300_px

This yea, he survived the family Christmas card photo but as you can see he wasn't very impressed with my silly attempt at a cutesy picture.  At least his facial expressions will bring us laughter for years to come.

Things started to turn up when St. Nick came and brought him some treats.  [He's in denial Christmas is around the corner still hanging around in his Halloween gear].

He's had some sweet holiday moments as well. Seeing his expression and that brain spin at his sister's first snow globe just about melted my heart into a little puddle!  Decorating the tree with him brought on a new dimension of fun!  Ornaments for a baby translates as a taste testing opportunity.  I'm pretty sure he thinks pulling them off the tree should be a sport because it is so fun.  Extra points for hiding them under the couch once they fall!    

When he sees Santa this year, I am sure he would tell him the one thing he wants under that tree is food and snacks.  Forget the toys!  If you know this little man, you know he absolutely loves to eat!!  He's all about his little food pouches.

In the perfect world I would be the kind of mom who makes all of his food and bakes his snacks, but that is just not our reality.  That's why I love Happy Family!  Happy Family was founded by moms and is operated by moms.  They believe that the right nutrition will set baby up for a healthy future.
My favorite in the Happy Family line are the food pouches.  We are always on the go, driving big sister to school and back, grocery shopping, visiting family, and who knows what else.  These are perfect because he can eat anytime, anywhere.   I love that this one has a little dairy to help ease his stomach before he goes all the way.  Most of the pouches are Kosher and don't contain ingredients that babies are prone to be allergic to [soy, fish, nuts, egg].  You can see the Allergy Chart for all the food pouches of Happy Family.  
 

Now these puff are his favorite and I have to admit, my three year old and I like to snack on them too!  These are the perfect distraction when I am cooking dinner.  Happy Family strives to make every bite count, even in snacks.  They only use the best quality organic ingredients and some foods mix fruits and veggies to optimize nutrition.  These snacks have the super food kale and one of his favorite food pouches [pear, blueberry, pomegranate] has Salba the super Chia.  He loves it and I love that he is getting all the nutritional benefits of the chia seeds, which are a great source of omega-3s.  Visit the Happy Family website to learn about organic baby and toddler food

Happy Family also adds age appropriate extra nutrition whenever possible.  Their enlightened nutrition philosophy means that each meal or snack may include superfoods like whole grains amaranth and quinoa, and fruits and veggies like kale, mango and coconut.  Some products have Chia, probiotics, and plant-based DHA and choline.  Nutritious, yummy, and perfect for when we are on the go.  

Everyday until the end of December you will have a chance enter the Happy Family #TistheSqueezin Giveaway. Join Happy Family on Facebook and enter to win during December’s #TistheSqueezin giveaways! Happy family under the tree will surely bring smiles to your little ones [especially if yours likes to eat as much as mine does].  Enjoy a $1 off coupon for Happy Family baby food pouches
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

M&M Holiday Mint Brownies and Peppermint Cookies

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Glad & M&M’S® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
One of the things I look forward to most about December is peppermint.  I know it's silly but it is the only time of the year I will drink peppermint hot chocolate or eat peppermint desserts.  I'm a peppermint fanatic!  When I found out M&M's came in White Chocolate Peppermint and Holiday Mint I had to get my hands on them!  I combined them with two of my favorite desserts to create the perfect holiday treat. 

You can find these M&M's [along with the M&M's Holiday Baking Minis that were sold out] at your nearest Target.  It's pretty hard to miss!  Just check out that adorable display screaming BUY ME! [And can you believe little man is already so big?!]

Don't think you will be able to find the White Chocolate Peppermint M&M's anywhere else because they are only available at Target.  Just watch out because once you munch on a small handful it's pretty hard to stop.  They are delicious just on their own.
There are recipes on the back of each bag and you can find some on the M&M website as well.  One bag called for a can of cookie dough but I used my own cookie dough recipe.  This makes a huge batch so if you are only making for a few people just cut everything in half.
Ingredients:
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup of butter softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 to 1 1/2 cups of White Chocolate Peppermint M&M's 
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugars together until combined.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Slowly mix in dry ingredients.  Stir in the White Chocolate Peppermint M&M's.
4.  Drop tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet.  I plopped a few of the festive red and white M&M's on top so you can see them after the cookies were bakes.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. 
You can also use a box of brownies to make this a quick and easy dessert, but if you want to make them from scratch here is the recipe.
Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 tsp salt 
1/3 cup flour
1 cup of Holiday Mint M&M's
1/2 cup butter softened
1 tsp vanilla extract 
2 eggs
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Blend softened butter and sugar.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract.
3. Add cocoa powder, salt and flour.  [Stir in Holiday Mint M&M's if you want them in the brownie]
4.  Spread batter into a greased 8 by 8 pan.  [Sprinkle Holiday Mint M&M's if you want them on top].  Bake for 35 to 38 minutes. 

I baked the M&M's in the brownie but I would suggest sprinkling them on top of the brownies after you pour the batter into the pan so you can see all the M&M's in their festive red, green and white.  It's not so festive when you can only see them inside the brownie.  Boo!!

I was baking these treats for the neighbors so I wanted to package them nicely.  Like the M&M's, Target also had these cute exclusive holiday print containers.  These adorable GLAD containers can only be found at Target.  And look more fun recipes on the back!

Circles or squares they are the perfect home for those holiday treats.  The print on the outside is so charming I love it!

Filled the containers up.

Topped with a bow and they are the perfect treat for friends, family, or co-workers this holiday season. 

If you get bit by the Christmas bug and feel the urgent need to bake, just head on over to Target, pick up some M&M, GLAD containers and get baking!

These peppermint treats will bring joy to whoever you decide to give them to. 
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Until next time.  Toodles!

Feel free to pin me..


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Special Dusty Hand Print Wreath

This hand wreath sort of holds a little special place in my heart.  [Yea yea I know I am so sentimental].  To you it's a four year old, dusty, green, construction paper hand print wreath.  When I look at it, I remember a time in my life that was bittersweet.  

This was my boo bear's first Christmas and daddy was deployed to Afghanistan.  It was really tough to not be together during this time.  I made this for his Christmas box and I still remember him showing it to me hanging up in his office.  So every year when I pull it out [dust and all]  I give thanks that we can spend Christmas together.  That year all I wanted for Christmas was to be a family.  It's a good reminder when I get Christmas crazy that I already have the most important thing, family.  The rest is just an added bonus. 

Here's the how to:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

CHRISTMAS FAVES: Advent

Ever since I was a kid I use to love counting down to Christmas and nothing has changed.  I love doing advent [which is just a countdown to Christmas]...

This year we are doing a new more meaningful advent, the advent wreath.  I've always wanted to do this and now that she is older it is perfect.  Each week you light a new candle and read scripture about the birth of Jesus.  So before dinner I plan on doing so and I love that this points us to the real meaning of Christmas.  For more information on this advent tradition HERE.

Cindy's Aunt Marlaine sent her this gorgeous calendar from Germany and she sends German gummy bears for her to enjoy everyday.  This is our yummy advent.

Every year since her first Christmas we also do this paper advent.  I remember making these when I was a kid!  It's just fun.  

[Here is the ball and chain looking one from last year].


I bought a wood circle plaque for her to paint and then Modge Podge the poem onto it. 

If you want the printout of the star HERE it is.  I simply rounded the edges.

Another way we countdown to Christmas is with books.  I wrap 25 books to put in her basket, the last one is the story of Jesus birth so we can read it Christmas morning.  This is a family tradition we have done since before the hubby and I had kiddos. She loves it and I think baby brother will enjoy this one as well.


[Opening the first book for the month].

Until next time.  Toodles!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

CHRISTMAS FAVES: Felt Tree and Ornaments

This year, I thought it would be fun to go through some of my favorite Christmas posts and some family traditions. Who knows I may share some new Christmas-y things this year. This felt tree was one of my favorite things to make and now little man is going to enjoy it too!

Ever since I saw this on Pinterest I knew I had to make one for Cindy!  We have to wait a little bit to put up our tree this year so this helps me wait a little longer and she gets her very own tree.  I hope this will divert her from touching the real one when it is up but I doubt it!  I do love it though! 
                     

I bought a yard of green felt to make the actual tree.

I bought a ton of little color square felt to make ornaments.  The snowman one is surprisingly her favorite. These are 3 inch circles.

I decided to also make 2 inch ornaments too.
 

She woke up the day after Thanksgiving and noticed the tree right away.  It was so cute!  She just whispered......  Treeeee and started putting the ornaments on.  They all end up clumped at the top, but it's a tree just for her. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Classic Zen Swaddle by Nested Bean

 Nested Bean contacted me telling me they introduced a new swaddle called the Zen Swaddle Classic and I had to have my hands on it!  It's been a few months since I've written a review on their Premium Swaddle HERE and let me tell you, the Zen swaddle i little man's favorite.  We love the Premier but the Zen Classic is perfect for summer!  It's light weight and the cotton is super duper soft. 

He use to have a love hate relationship with being swaddled but now it's an essential part of our bedtime routine.  He is knocked out in two minutes flat after being swaddled in the Zen!  

The Classic is so cute too and comes in three different colors.  A neutral white, pink and blue like this one. 

The construction of this swaddle is pretty much the same as the Premier [pictures from the Premier]... 
a small lovely newborn pocket 

and my favorite part is the wide and soft Velcro that they use.  Makes it easy to wrap those wiggly worms up. 

The Classic is also lightly weighted, which is what makes the Zen different than other swaddles.  It's what I love about these swaddles.  Again, this doesn't affect it when washing.  Just Velcro it shut, wash and dry.  The Peruvian cotton just seems to get softer with each wash.  

There are a lot of swaddles out there and I know the Zen costs a bit more than others.  This was probably the only thing I didn't like about it. After having the Premier for months, I can tell the difference and know why it costs what it does.  The fabric they use on these swaddles is quality.  The cotton on the Classic is just so so soft [I can't say it enough] and the Zen swaddles we have will definitely be passed down to family who have kids in the future.  Plus I love all the little details, like the stitching on the bird.  Way to go Nested Bean!

This was his first time using the Classic and as you can see it was a hit.  It's super easy to use and much safer than using a regular receiving blanket.  I wrapped him like a burrito and right away his eyes just started to sink...

Until BAM he's out cold.  

He's already sleeping in two six hour shifts and being swaddled is part of the reason.  On those rough days I also swaddle for naps and he will sleep for two to three hours all wrapped up.  I can't get enough of watching him sleep.  So sweet! 

He loves Nested Bean's Swaddle and so do I!  You can check it out on their website HERE or on Amazon HERE.  

Until next time.  Toodles!

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